Theoretically speaking, can the vast majority of fish be trained to become “omnivorous?”

Zionas

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Excluding fish that are already omnivorous by nature, or fish that are really hardcore predators, pod eaters, coral eaters or grazers of any kind, is it possible for the vast majority of non-omnivorous species to be trained to become omnivores and take both meaty and plant based foods (frozen, live, dry, fresh)?

For example, if I were feeding a Tang or a Foxface, known herbivores, must I still feed them meaty foods (flakes, pellets, fresh seafood, frozen brine, live foods) from time to time? Is it vice versa for known carnivores such as Hawkfish, Basslets, wrasses, and larger fish like the Marine Betta?

For us humans, it’s generally believed that we must eat a varied diet with both meats and vegetables / fruits to remain in optimal health because we need proteins and multiple vitamins to remain healthy. Is it the same for the fish we keep?
 

homer1475

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I haven't found a fish yet that wont eat nori, or meaty foods from time to time.

Even though some are herbivores, I have found they like a little bit of meat from time to time.
 

SDK

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Carnivores indirectly eat a varied diet as well. Anything that eats whole prey is also eating whatever is in it’s digestive tract. Well fed pods for example, will have a tract full of phytoplankton, other algaes and whatever other detritus they were eating in various stages of digestion....
 
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ScottR

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Fish labeled as herbivores seem to like meat as well.
 

SDK

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Hmmm so it does sound like that regardless of whether the fish is a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore, I should feed a varied diet.

That is the million dollar answer no matter what you are keeping. Get some quality marine pellets, a variety of frozen foods and some fresh/live foods if you can.
 

lapin

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Fish will benefit from a varied diet of both plant and meat based items. Unless they are overweight, I would not put them on a Keto diet
 

Indytraveler83

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I'm not sure if saltwater is the same...

But Africa mbuna cichlids are strict herbivores with a long, slow digestive tract meant to break down tough plant matter. Meaty foods tend to decompose in their gut and can cause them to bloat up and die.

Going too far off the intended diet of an animal can have unintended consequences. Again... Not sure how much it applies to any given fish, but not all digestive systems are the same.
 

DeniableArc

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G’day from Australia! My red flame hawk will take both formula #1-#2 without any preference.
 
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This is great to know! By varied diet of course I will have the main course for herbivores and carnivores, but other types of foods I will feed on a somewhat regular basis to supplement their main dietary needs. So herbivores will still be fed some meaty fare, and carnivores will still be fed some plant based fare.

Is it safe to feed raw vegetables from the supermarket? Or fresh seafood directly bought from the seafood market? My concern when it comes to vegetables are pesticides.

@DeniableArc Good to know your hawkfish is taking flakes readily. Heard they’re pretty easy to feed. BTW nice to see an Aussie here. On my stocking list are a trio of Stripeys. Heard you can find these fish very easily in shallow water down in Oz, here in southeastern China it’s also very easy to find them swimming in shallow water down at the coast. I could even go and collect them myself, but I found a guy who collects them from the sea near him and sells them. Super easy, eat like pigs. Though I do think the ones you have in your place might be a similar but not the same species.
 
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Fish stocking:

Phase 1-

One Spot Foxface-Herbivore

x2 Ocellaris / Darwin Ocellaris Clowns-Omnivore

Marine Betta-Carnivore

x3 PJ Cardinals-Carnivore



Phase 2-

x3 Stripeys-Omnivore

Black and White Bannerfish-Omnivore

x2 Flame Hawkfish-Carnivore


Tank dimensions: 1.5m x 0.7m x0.6m (165 gallons)


Total Omnivorous Fish-6 (Everything)

Total Carnivorous Fish-6 (main course: Frozen brine, meaty pellets, meaty flakes, shrimp roe, fish roe, dried plankton, dried krill Secondary: Nori strips, algae enhanced pellets, plant based flakes, sea veggies-something similar Occasional: Fresh seafood, live mysis, live brine, live seafood)

Total Herbivorous Fish-1 (main course: Algae enhanced pellets, nori strips, plant based flakes, something similar to sea veggies that I can find in China Secondary: meaty pellets, meaty flakes, fresh vegetables, frozen preparations Occasional: Fresh seafood, live brine, live mysis)


Possible: Bloodworms, blackworms (hard to find), earthworms (are they good for the fish?)

6654EAC8-02E7-4DDD-B877-77A8FDD9907A.png BD5CEA1B-0DDD-4B63-A077-EA63A6C5CE46.png




These are the foods I am thinking of feeding my fish. The live foods will by far be the hardest parts. Ignore the “Carnivores” part, this is my general feeding plan and I will adjust the amount of meaty or vegetable based foods I feed based on the dietary preferences of each fish. Maybe my list is a lot more complicated than it needs to be.


Must all seafood and vegetables be cooked prior to feeding? Must the vegetables only be organically sourced?
 
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Zionas

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I’m going to do 4 feedings a day, at 10AM 2PM 6PM and 10PM. 10AM feeding will be when I turn the lights on for the morning and 10PM will be before I turn the lights off for the night.

I’ve come up with a 3:1 ratio for herbivores and carnivores. The 3 will be plant based foods for herbivores and the 3 will be meaty foods for the carnivores. The 1 will be the “other” type of food. The omnivores OTOH will constantly rotate between meaty and vegetable foods. 1 feeding with meaty foods, 1 feeding with veggies.

Does that sound like a good idea?
 

StatelineReefer

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Why not just feed a balanced frozen type like rods food or LRS reef frenzy three times daily with a nori clip on the side for the herbivores? Trying to overcomplicate feedings can be a dangerous thing.
 
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Zionas

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Unfortunately those foods are not available where I am (East Asia). I can order brands like Ocean Nutrition and Hikari online, as well as some smaller European brands like First Bite and Doctor Bassler.

I know Ocean Nutrition has Formula-1 flakes and pellets, Formula-2 flakes and pellets and Prime Reef Flakes. I’ll have Formula-1 ready for the carnivores and omnivores and Formula-2 for the herbivore (Foxface).

Hikari also does a bunch of frozen foods, I can also get Julian Sprung’s Sea Veggies.

These will be supplemented by Fresh seaweed, nori, and fresh seafood. The fresh foods I’ll feed once a week. Live foods I’m afraid aren’t an option for me.
 

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